The speed of your website is something we’ve discussed several times on Bit Rebels. As someone who writes articles on blogs, you intend to build a big, faithful fanbase. That said, with visitors increasing by the number each day, site issues go up as well.
More traffic means a reduction in website performance and speed. From having been through this ourselves, we know that you have to dig deep to find the root of the problem before you can resolve it. There are simple things to be done to restore your website speed.
Without question, the use of a CDN (Content Delivery Network) will increase the speed of your site. That’s the second half of the fix – first, you’ll need to ensure that your site’s speed is optimized. This is an easy and quick process.
With regards to website performance and speed, your site slows down drastically when requesting files from multiple servers. By having those requests reduced, you’re getting rid of a major deterrent in your website speed.
Consider the consequences of a slow website, courtesy of the industry intelligence and market research organization, PhoCusWright:
- 80% of visitors won’t return
- 57% of visitors will leave a site after waiting more than a few seconds during loading time
- 50% of visitors, give or take, will complain about their experience with others
On a brighter note, websites that have their performance bolstered have seen significant changes. Amazon, for instance, learned that by enhancing the speed of their website by 100 milliseconds on each page, sales increased by 1%, which is a very big number if you take into account how much they earn daily.
With that, consider these four ways you can decrease loading time for visitors. Bolstering website speed will please both you and your visitors.
Use Gzip to turn on HTTP Compression
This may not be required since your host might have done this automatically on your behalf. If you’re not sure, consult them, or type in your website’s URL on gzipwtf.com to find out.
Gzip instructs the server to compress sent files, which are subsequently unzipped by browsers when visitors receive them. You should integrate this into your website if you haven’t already.
On the client and server’s side, cache as much as possible
Granted, 80% of this work is done on the client’s end.
By instructing browsers to maintain specific assets that will be requested multiple times, you’ll minimize the amount of requests in general.
The server will instruct the browser to keep the files, and the browser will obey the command. This is a big enhancement to the performance of a website, but the directions to have assets cached need to be done on your end via coding.
Without question, the biggest files traveling from servers to users are pictures. This bigger the file, the slower the transfer. Be mindful not to reduce the picture’s file size as it will come at the expense of the picture’s quality.
Refrain from scaling. Afterward, ensure the picture is optimized so that the size of the file is as small as possible. There are many software applications available that can do this on your behalf, and they are inexpensive.
Alternatively, if you can’t afford to pay for one, there is a program called PNGGauntlet for Windows, and a program called ImageOptim for Mac. These ‘one-click’ applications will do the picture optimizing you need.
Assess on your global CSS file to determine if you can keep all your CSS. These are data-heavy files that reduce the speed visitors receive on each page. That’s heightened tenfold when you’re using several CSS files that are liable to be mixed. That isn’t feasible if have individual pages or sections that have special styles, which warrants having several CSS files. Where possible, combine.
If all four of these things are done, the data-heavy aspects of your website will be optimized. Afterward, when these now lighter aspects are copied throughout CDN server networks, your visitors will truly notice a substantial difference in speed.
Don’t forget, the further away your visitor is from data, the longer it will take for them to receive it. Therefore, even if the website’s assets can be controlled, latency can’t be until the services of a CDN is used.